Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Apostle by Chapter | 1 Corinthians Chapter 13

By Sam Nobles

This chapter is often called "the love chapter." It is possible for a person to be extremely gifted in spiritual things and not have love. In this chapter Paul skillfully describes love and challenges believers to put it into practice as a lifelong goal to actively pursue.

The Importance of Love (v.1-3)
Even if a person could speak in all languages, both human and angelic, but didn't use this ability for the good of others, it would not be profitable or pleasant. In the same way, a person might receive grand revelations, divine knowledge, or heroic faith, but if these gifts are not used for the benefit of others, they have no value in God’s kingdom. Even the most selfless acts of charity would not profit one if love was not the motivation.

The Definition of Love (v.4-7)
In the next few verses, Paul the Apostle makes a sandwich with the characteristics of love.

·      He first lists positive attributes, that is, what love is or does.
“Love is patient and kind…” (v.4a)
·      Secondly, Paul lists the negative aspects, that is, what love does not or does not do.
“Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. (v.4b-6)
·      Third and last, Paul revisits some positive attributes.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” (v.7)

The Eternality of Love (v.8-13)
To end out the chapter, Paul makes a last contrast between spiritual gifts and love. First, love never ends, but spiritual gifts will cease when perfection comes. Second, Paul compares spiritual gifts with "childish things", which are put away when one grows up. We don’t see everything the way we should see it, but when we enter eternity we will know things as we should.

Scripture to Claim:

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)

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